Twenty-two-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal of Spain reaffirmed that 2024 will be the final year of his career, but left the door open in case he changes his mind.
“The 2024 Olympics in Paris would be a nice end to my career if I feel good,” Nadal said in an interview with Movistar. “My schedule can change if I feel I can have a chance to win at Roland Garros.”
The tennis event of the 2024 Olympic Games will take place at Roland Garros in Paris between July 27 and August 4, after the French Open (from May 20 to June 9), which Nadal has won 14 times.
“Yes, it is going to be my last year 100 percent,” Nadal said. “I have it planned like this. I don’t believe in magic, but if suddenly the body recovers after the long layoff I’ve had, and I feel strong and energetic to continue – I’m saying one thing but then may do another.”
When Nadal won the French Open title in 2022, he beat Novak Djokovic of Serbia to the record of winning the most Grand Slam singles titles (22). However, Djokovic soon caught up, securing four more majors with Wimbledon in 2022 and then the Australian, French and U.S. Opens in 2023. He now has 24 Grand Slam trophies under his name.
“I’m not frustrated for a simple reason,” Nadal told Movistar. “I believe that, within my means, I have done everything possible to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible for me. Novak could be frustrated because he lives everything more intensely and that’s why he’s the best.”
“I have been one of the most inactive players on the circuit for many years. I’ve missed four and a half years of Grand Slams. That’s what the sport is all about. Djokovic is also more successful because he has had a level of fitness, physique, that has allowed him to play more than me,” the 37-year-old Spanish legend added.
Djokovic, 36, seems very motivated to add more honors to his legendary career and to solidify his status as the greatest tennis player of all time.
“I don’t want to even consider, you know, leaving tennis or thinking about an end if I’m still at the top of the game,” he said after the U.S. Open. “I just don’t see a reason for that. I will probably consider doing that if I get my ass kicked by young guys in the Grand Slams in the years to come in the earlier stages, and then I’ll probably say, okay, maybe it’s time to move on.”